Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Session 

Today I had another CBT session.  I had to tell my therapist that a small comment she had made last time, helped send me into another short but dark depressive episode.  She said in the last session, “I am not really sure what it is I can do to help you.”  This might sound simple but to someone with anxiety, it destroys you.  She was telling me that I can’t be helped and I felt utterly hopeless.

After she had said that, I totally blanked and can’t remember about 10 minutes past that point so I don’t know what she said immediately afterwards. Still, I panicked and thought oh shit, I’ve stumped a medical expert!

She didn’t even remember saying that anyway as it turns out.  I’m just so sensitive, always have been.  A friend of mine recently joked about something to me.  She was only teasing me but I took what she had said literally and this also contributed to my sudden mood shift from anxious to depressive.  I was in bed for a few days crying and wanting to self harm like I had done in the past.  I resisted the urge, even though the self hatred and anger was welling up inside me.  I wanted to lash out.  I took a Clonazapam and journaled my mood as part of my CBT homework instead.

  I feel much better now that some issues (my feelings) were resolved and even have some new homework.  A book on CBT:

  

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13 Things You Need To Know About People With Social Anxiety

Came across this article by Hannah Deehm at http://thoughtcatalog.com/hannah-deehm/2014/09/13-things-social-anxiety/

1. We aren’t ignoring you or being rude—we’re just shy.

Since we tend to keep to ourselves, most people think we are brushing them off or ignoring them. We really aren’t; we’re just too anxious to involve ourselves in conversations with people we don’t know.

2. Alcohol does not always help.

Surprisingly, even getting our buzz on can’t save us from ourselves. Unless we are blackout drunk, the anxious thoughts remain.

3. We overanalyze everything…

We scrutinize everything people do around us: body language, what they say, their tones while saying it, the way they look at us…everything. We also think about everything we say and carefully note each person’s reaction to it.

4. …especially after hanging out.

For hours or even days after the social interaction, we play back conversations in our head. That way, we can pinpoint exactly what we said or did to elicit negative reactions.

5. FOMO is the one fear we don’t have.

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a term coined by millennials who feel the need to attend every social event within their social group for fear of missing something great. For those of us with social anxiety, attending a social event causes way more anxiety than anything else—we fear not missing out.

6. We’re able to have friends…

Contrary to popular belief, the socially anxious do have friends. We have a few close friends whom we trust, have known for years, and are aware of our situation.

7. …as well as significant others.

In some cases, those with social anxiety are able to flirt and talk with members of the opposite sex.

8. We drop subtle hints…

In the event that we make conversation with an acquaintance, we’ll say things such as, “Text me when you’re free! I always am!” or “We should grab lunch this week!” in the hopes that you will reach out to us.

9. …but we never ask first.

It’s not that we don’t want to; we just don’t want to put you in a position where you feel obligated to see us.

10. We assume that you don’t like us.

Social anxiety revolves around the idea that people reject us. If we seem emotionally needy, it’s because we are. Unless people constantly give us praise and affection, we assume you don’t like us and we try will avoid you.

11. We are in a constant state of hyper-awareness.

Even losing focus for a moment can trigger mild panic. Few things are worse than being forced to make small talk with an acquaintance or running into an ex. By always being aware, we can hopefully see these people before they see us and avoid them.

12. We put the happiness of others over our own.

We do this even with people we don’t know very well. We always want to make sure others are enjoying themselves, even if we’re not. That way, no one can blame us for ruining their fun and give them yet another reason to reject us.

13. We are extremely caring toward our friends.

No one should ever have to go through the emotional stress that we do. Because of this, we always make sure our friends know how loved and appreciated they are. If you take the time to befriend someone with social anxiety, they could be the best friend you’ve ever had.

Anxiety and Irritability

Well, this feels strange.  It has been awhile since I last posted and things have been a mixed bag of anxiety and happiness.  Today in particular has been rough.  I have been crying on and off most the day.  It started with me waking up again on soaking wet sheets.  Seems the night sweats are still around and they are every night.  I am blaming the medications for now for this embarrassing situation.

My insurance through work, has approved sessions with a psychotherapist which I go see every week for an hour or so.  She is really nice but she is fresh out of schooling and has an annoying habit of constantly asking, “Does that make sense?”.  To make matters worse, she scrunches up her nose and cocks her head to the side like my dog does when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk.  I am agitated so that is why I am being harsh.  At least I realize that my anxiety and depression is causing my short fuse and lack of patience. Every little thing makes me irritable. I was so embarrassed and disappointed in myself today when I couldn’t leave the grocery store because there was an older gentleman standing in the doorway, blocking it.  Usually this would not bother me in the least but I sighed loudly and told him not to stand in the way, as I hurried past him.  He probably did not hear me but I felt horrible I acted this way.  I also find myself with a touch of road rage now and again.  It is becoming more frequent as of late and this concerns me.

My partner has been away visiting a friend for the past week and it has been tough to say the least.  She is my rock, my support system, my everything and I have missed her.  We have mostly been using Facetime and Facebook messenger to communicate.  As a matter of fact, she was the one who said I should write a blog post and I usually listen to her as she knows what helps me in tough times.  I promise to keep posting about my psychotherapy sessions.

Overreacting Once Again Causes Anxiety

So, yesterday I wrote about the situation with my friend’s birdbath.  It can be read about here.

Well of course I overreacted.  She wasn’t hinting all along that she needed her birdbath back.  She wanted a new one that was all.  She said she would have asked for it back if she wanted it but she gave it to me as a present for helping her and it was mine to keep.  I still expressed my embarrassment at being clueless and not bringing the subject up but she never thought about it for a second.

Why does my mind always go to the negative and assume the worst?  I was so worried she thought I was so insensitive and clueless.  I ended up having a panic attack and everything, all brought on by my negative thinking.  My stomach was in knots and I couldn’t eat unless it was junk food it seems.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Still had to take an emergency Clonazepam for 2 days now and still feel bad about the whole thing.

Anxiety Attack Coming…

Wow, this is a surprise blog post.  A surprise because 10 minutes ago, I was not even thinking about writing but I am now trying to ward off a full blown panic attack so I jumped on the computer to get my thoughts out.  I am writing this through teary eyes and I want to get it all out before I panic too much.

Normal day then my one friend (my new, older friend who means the world to me) Facebook messaged me to ask if I wanted to go to a garden nursery nearby.  I hadn’t gone to this one before and we both love gardening so off we went.  I asked her on the way there what she was looking to buy, she said a new bird bath as hers is splitting.  She wanted a glass one.  She had given me a similar birdbath last month because she never used it.  I did not clue in.

We browsed the store and she bought a new glass birdbath $49.99.  Never clued in.  Got home, my mother was there and she asked about my trip to the nursery with my friend.  Told her she had bought a glass birdbath like ours.  Then my mother said, “you mean like the one your friend gave you recently”?  Then it hit me, I had told her that I thought it was a very generous gift but if she ever needed it, to let me know.  Now, my friend invited me to go there to buy a birdbath and I said nothing. Then, while driving there the birdbath came up again, still nothing.  My friend pays for the birdbath and I carry it to her car and secure it in the back seat.  Nothing.

It took my mother (who has a history of making me feel terrible about myself) to remind me that I have my friend’s birdbath.  This IS cathartic.  I have stopped crying and am wondering if I am making too much of this all?  I keep going back and forth thinking everything is ok, then wham!  I then start thinking that my friend must think I am so insensitive for not offering back HER birdbath for cripes sakes!

The tears are flowing again.  I have another browser tab open on Facebook messenger, awaiting my friend’s response to the apology I sent her for being so insensitive and clueless.  When I was writing that message, I was crying so much by eyes kept blurring up and I had to stop to wipe away the tears.  I started breathing really heavy and fast, oh shit, I was having another anxiety attack.  It had been so long since my last one that I didn’t see it coming on till I was halfway into it.  Did I fuck up this friendship too?  I am such a loser, now she will see that and things will be different.  I haven’t let my mind go that far yet, to where I don’t have that friendship, as it would be devastating to me.

I guess I just wait now till she reads my message which could be awhile.

Birthday Depression

I recently had a birthday.  Notice I didn’t say “celebrated”?  I hate my birthday, just another year older and still generally unhappy and unsatisfied with my life.  I shouldn’t feel this way.  I have a partner of 25 years that loves me to bits, I have a home, I travel, I have people who care about me.  It still doesn’t seem like much when I am depressed and that is why we don’t mark the occasion.

birthday

I have been thinking about when in life, I started hating my birthday.  I can’t seem to pinpoint any particular year but I think it was in high school.  I didn’t have a lot of close friends in school so maybe I started getting bummed that I didn’t have a lot of people to celebrate it with.  Maybe I started hating my birthday because I didn’t have friends who wanted to do anything for me.

I never kept in touch with my high school friends, nor the college ones.  Instead, my small group of “acquaintances” are mostly my partner’s friends.  Everybody loves her and she has no shortages in the friend department.  I wish I could be more like her but sometimes I say the wrong thing or am disinterested when I hang with people.

Now, I think I hate my birthday because I am one year older and none the wiser.  Same old depression and anxiety following me around like a pestering five year old.

When I was born, the world was so much different.  I am only in my forties but I feel old.  I put together a list of differences from when I was growing up, to now.  They highlight just how far we’ve come.

  • Being gay was illegal back then, now I am in a same-sex marriage.
  • In school, you never learned about depression and anxiety-it was never spoken of or taught.
  • I never had Facebook or other social media.  Closest things was “IRC CHAT.”
  • I am currently taking Prozac, a drug that was “the medication” for depression in the 80’s.
  • Playgrounds used to have kids playing in them.
  • You used to be “crazy” if you had a mental illness. (some still think this way)
  • It used to be so cool if you knew someone with a phone in their car. (or a tattoo)
  • Classified ads in a newspaper were the preferred way to meet someone new. Now it’s online dating sites.

twitter-facebook-tweet-update-birthday-ecards-someecardsCare to share some of your own?

My Depression and Anxiety Are Liars

Well I’ve been in an agitated state for the past few days.  A bit sad, a bit angry (at what I don’t know).  I am still crying for no apparent reason.  Woke up very early this morning, saw my partner off to work and then started feeling guilty.  I feel guilty that she had to go to work on such a nice day and she isn’t feeling very well.

I have been spending a lot more time with my (newish) friend who lives around the corner.  I am having mixed feelings when I think about her.  I think I am spending too much time with her and am becoming dependent on seeing her for my happiness.  It’s not a sexual thing, I just feel really good when I am around her.  She is 12 years older and lives alone.  We have been hanging out together since the early winter and are very different “on paper.”  In real life though it’s totally different.  We both enjoy telling our crazy stories to one another and I am starting to rely on her for my happiness–something I swore I wouldn’t do again.

I have had only a few close friends over the years, as I always manage to push them away from me.  More accurately, they usually run screaming from me after about a year.  So far so good with my new friend.  I hope I don’t screw things up.  I have purposely avoided going over to see her for the past few days as I feel I am starting to bother her with all my stop-ins.   She of course says this is nonsense but of course I don’t believe that.  It’s the depression and anxiety lying to me again, telling me I am no good and nobody in their right mind would want to spend time with me.

For the sake of my well being, I messaged her on Facebook this morning asking her if she was working outside today (so I can stop by to see her without feeling too intrusive).  She responded yes and she would like to see me.  Of course, my mind thinks she has somehow made a mistake so I messaged back for her to let me know when a good time is later today.  I want to talk to her about all this but am afraid I might scare her off or something.

For the record, my partner is totally cool with me spending so much time with this friend.  There is no jealousy or concern.  My partner feels bad that I am left alone a lot at night while she works so having someone I can spend time with is a blessing for her as well.  She understands that I need someone other than her to talk to and I love her so much for that.

Macro Photography

Well, it’s been a few days since my last confession, er, I mean POST.  I took a few days off after the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April.  The weather here in Ontario Canada has been fantastic with highs in the mid twenties and sun, sun, sun.  I have been spending it outdoors with my partner doing the usual Springtime yard work and planting.  My mood has been good overall with little anxiety.  My depressive mood has lifted (for how long is anyone’s guess).  I have noticed that I have a hair trigger response to things lately.  I am blaming it on the Prozac I just started for now.  Will also blame the cravings for crap food ALL THE TIME, on the meds as well.

With the nice weather, I’ve been taking more photos.  Picked up some extension tubes for my camera.  I can’t afford a macro lens so the tubes are great for the price. Here are the ones I picked up.  Best photography purchase since my Canon 70D.

I really enjoy macro photography, getting up close to flowers, bugs and even everyday objects.  Here are a few shots of zippers, fruit, bugs, glass, camera equipment, pills, keyboards and wood.

Keyboard Canon lens Camera lens efs 15-85mm Fluoxetine Lemon Lime IMG_9888 Glass IMG_9898 wholly bear caterpillar Zipper Wood Knot

Zoloft

Zoloft

Today is brought to you by the letter “Z” and I choose for it to stand for “Zoloft” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Well, last day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for April and today’s topic was chosen a month ago.  I am no longer on Zoloft, as I couldn’t handle the horrendous night sweats and am now on Prozac.  I have been on so many depression and anxiety medications over the last year that I am becoming quite an expert on meds.

IMG_9469_1I have a confession to make.  It’s my birthday and I’ve had a really great day outside in the fresh air.  I’ve tried writing this post 3 times already but don’t have much to say because I’ve switched my anti-depressant 2 weeks ago to Prozac.  So far, so good I guess.  On that note, I am going to go back outside and enjoy the rest of the early evening here in Canada.  It has been a beautiful week and so will the coming weekend.

My partner is off work this weekend so we will be busy with yard work, getting ready for summer.  I might take a few days off blogging and spend some quality time together.  If you can, try to do the same.

Yearn

Yearn

Today is brought to you by the letter “Y” and I choose for it to stand for “YEARN” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I yearn for normalcy, whatever that looks like.

I yearn to be able to say yes easily to a social invite without feeling the heightened anxiety that goes along with it.

I yearn to be like the majority that have problems but aren’t floored by them.

I yearn to be off this merry-go round of medications that has turned me into a walking pharmacy.

I yearn to be able to earn enough from my photography so I wouldn’t have to 9-5 it anymore.

I yearn to be the equal partner my spouse deserves.

I yearn to not have thoughts of suicide when things get rough.

I yearn to sell it all and move to Belize.